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I don't want minmaxed companions, but the companions could have better stat spreads and trait choices. Especially when their stats don't really fit their personality. Like why does Grieving Mother only have 12 int? She's far more intelligent than that, in fact I'd say she's smarter than Aloth for example. 

 

If perception still affected accuracy their stat choices would be a lot better though, gameplay-wise. Not sure if that high perception fits all of the characters though.

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Those saying that IE games had bad characters as well are forgetting that we had those wonderful spells and items that would raise their bad attributes so in the end you could fix a lot of those guys. You don't have such an item or spell in PoE that can fix the dwarfette for example.

Completely agree on this. Those that played BG1/2 certanly remember some rly horrible attributes on many companions (Jaheira in BG1 or Keldorn and Viconia in BG2). But any issues they had could easily be fixed with a few items.

 

Example 1: Keldorn would be a solid mele fighter if his DEX wasn't disasterously low (9).

Solution: Find Gloves of Dexterity (DEX set to 18).

Result: A solid and dependable mele fighter (when equipped with Carsomyr he was second only to main char and Sarevok).

 

Example 2: Viconia could easily be the best cleric in game if her CON wasn't horribly low (8), combined with disasterous STR (10). This effectively restricted her role to ranged support, regardless of her admirable AC due to high DEX (19).

Solution: Find Girdle of Fortitude (CON set to 18 for 8 hours 1/day) and Gauntlets of Ogre Power (STR set to 18/00).

Result: Top of the line battle cleric that can both provide support and dish out dmg in mele, while holding her own against any enemy.

"We must all fear evil men. But there is a kind of evil we must fear most and that is the indifference of good men!"

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I have been testing some, trying to determine how soon I can get the companions. Since their attribute stats matter less to me than their actual skills, I could solve some of the issue I have with them, if I got them soon enough to correct any bad skill picks.

 

Aloth, Eder, Durance, and Kana I can all get at level 2 by rushing past as many enemies and quests solving as possible. Sagani, Pallegina, Hiravias, and Grieving Mother unfortunately require me to get past Caed Nua and fix the road East, and the battles there kind of need a level 3-4 party unfortunately (don't know if a level 3 party could do it to be honest as I haven't tried that).

 

In addition I am somewhat vary of rushing to Pallegina and Grieving Mother and the character triggers a lot of NPC conversations rushing past NPCs in Defiance Bay and Dyrwood Village. I am unsure whether content is lost this way though.

 

A change from the developer making it so any recruited companion start at level 0 letting you do all the leveling would fix the entire problem (of course would fix the attribute issue, but I don't mind that part personally)

 

You can get the first four companions at level 2, like you said, pretty easily.  You can get the last four just as easily, in much the same way, after you have Caed Nua at level 4.  Having done this I don't know how content would be lost, skipped temporarily, yes.  But the areas you travel through are easily re-visited.

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People have already said it, but it bears repeating, most people complaining about the pre-made companions are not doing so because they are not min-maxed. They're complained because they might as well have been "max-mined", if you allow me the expression, for how they have been built.

 

Seriously, even with lower levels, any character you make yourself is going to be significantly better than the premade companions as long as you have any vague idea of what you're doing.

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People have already said it, but it bears repeating, most people complaining about the pre-made companions are not doing so because they are not min-maxed. They're complained because they might as well have been "max-mined", if you allow me the expression, for how they have been built.

 

Seriously, even with lower levels, any character you make yourself is going to be significantly better than the premade companions as long as you have any vague idea of what you're doing.

Its not just that they are bad, which they are, but they fill no interesting roles.

 

You literally can't use them to make interesting parties.  The only interesting thing about them is their story.  Without that they should be thrown out.  Its not just effectiveness or min/maxing.

 

You want to play your main as a pure glass cannon?  Tough luck go get an adventurer if you want a non-mediocre tank to supplement it.  You want to be a great tank PC with terrible damage, tough luck if you want a good Nuker cuz none of the companions fit the bill.  

 

The only party build you can use these companions for is the "random bundle of mediocre crap build".  You get an decent survey of class mechanics but they suck for filling a slot in a party in an interesting way because they are almost all a big bowl of mush.

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So I'm digging around in the game files with unity to try and find where this is stored.  

This should be a relatively simple Mod.  

I'm just thinking shuffling the attributes around a bit.  No changes to race or background choices.  

MAYBE skill choices as well depending on how it's setup and how hard it is to change.  

Anybody have recommendations for what they should be?

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I would change them using a rule of +2/-2 on attributes that need it, always keeping the same max. Makes the NPCs more balanced and it doesn't really changes their "personality".
 
These are the changes I'm thinking of using:
KERU2IR.png?1
 
Hardly what you would call min-maxing, and you still have useful talkative companions for hard and path of the damned.

 

Edited by Rjc
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I would change them using a rule of +2/-2 on attributes that need it, always keeping the same max. Makes the NPCs more balanced and it doesn't really changes their "personality".

 

This is actually a decent idea, the only other thing I would do, is set their lvl to 0 so you can manually choose skills and talents for them, so players can experiment with their builds. Because let's face it speed running through the first portion of the game to get them as early as possible totaly kills the immersion and story flow (at least for me).

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"We must all fear evil men. But there is a kind of evil we must fear most and that is the indifference of good men!"

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I haven't played the game yet, but it seems that you are completely fine playing the game with the given companions, they are just not optimized. However, I do have to agree that if their stat choices don't make sense and don't actually contribute to dialogue, thats kinda....meh. Yeah. for RP purposes, maybe the stats are fine, and quite possibly they work well.

 

However, I really hate the argument that the NPCs should be weaker just because YOU are the main character, and everybody else is "just normal folk" so don't have high standards 'kay? .....That's just....no. This isn't Skyrim or a game where only your character matters. You get to control all of them anyway, so just assume you win every battle because youre a good tactician or something if you need an ego boost.

 

The companions SHOULD be unique and do things the PC cant. There were so many times where I was like, damn Sarevok just saved my party, or thank god for Minsc's berserk, or how useful it was that Edwin got more spells. There's nothing wrong with companions that might outshine the PC in combat here or there - you are a party of ADVENTURERS, not an army of 1 with sideline bakers and merchants. If they can't pull their freaking weight in combat, get the hell out of here. And for anyone who says you'd would accept whatever aid you can get and it doesn't matter if they are good or not, would you send a child out to fight demons and ghouls and such just because they want to help? No! You'd say sorry, this isnt for you, and leave them behind in their village. Adventuring is dangerous business and the NPCs should reflect that or maybe they shouldn't join you. 

 

If you can't take that one or two characters might somehow, occasionally, be better than your PC, just because you're the main character, thats just having the devs stroke your ego. I LIKE when companions are unique and useful, especially when they can do things my main cant. it makes them more memorable and just plain awesome to have around. 

 

Granted, it seems you can play the game quite fine with the current companions' stats, so maybe they are fine. But wanting them to maybe be a bit better or wondering why the hell they were built the way they were built DOESNT mean min-max everything. I think @Rjc showed that great with his graph - just slight tweaks to make them more useful. Although, I am all for companions that have stats you can't get, but I think the little tweaks are fine.

 

Personally, I wouldve like for you to level the companions up yourself so you don't have to beeline for them at the beginning every single time, just seems stupid to me- if you want them to have specific abilities/talents/etc, make those abilities automatic bonuses, and let me do the rest. I loved the KOTOR games because they let you increase stats as you leveled up, and you got to level up each character yourself, if you so chose, AND the NPCs came with cool unique feats and stuff. And those companions were unique and not OP at all, and you were practically the center of the universe in those games (of course, by the end, the main character was so OP that nothing mattered, but that was fun in its own way). Would've loved to see something similar here, but this game seems great regardless, so I guess its fine.

 

Anyway, sorry, rants over, just throwing out my opinion.

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Found the attribute scores,  

They are in a game object in the file Pillars of Eternity\PillarsOfEternity_Data\assetbundles\prefabs\objectbundle\companion_<INSERT COMPANION NAME HERE>.unity3d  

  

But I can't save changes... anyone got $1500 USD or one of these mythical unity pro edition trial codes?  

  

For what it's worth aloth is listed as level 7, with no available talent selections; so I'm guessing all of the scaling to your level business is triggered when you meet them, and doesn't seem to be located in the same place.  

Honestly a couple sub-optimal or even bad talent selections is ok with me, but the absolutely crippling stat distributions are completely unacceptable.

Edited by gandalfrockman
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Some observations about possibly modding the starting characters:

 

1) That level-scaling you mentioned seems to be handled by the alothabilityprogressiontable.unity3d file located in the same folder as companion_aloth.unity3d is found.

 

2) In Unity, using the helpful Pillars of Eternity Asset Editor, I noticed when pulling up the companion_aloth.unity3d file that some of the information saved within isn't 'retrieved' and read correctly by Unity. For starts, in the Companion_Aloth Object resource there seems to be some missing/invalid entries that I think are due to missing resources in the project. Such as the data feild "Controller" below avatar saying "None (Runtime Animator Controller)" (sounds bad to me). There is also a 'tab' if you scroll a few paces down named "(Script)". It gave a message stating "The associated script can not be loaded. Please fix any compile errors and assign a valid script.". This is where I hit a wall due to a lack of familiarity with Unity or how these things work.

 

Additionally, on the Asset Editor website it mentions that 'materials' won't load their preassigned shaders, so that when you save the project and load it ingame, those objects will instead appear solid purple. Characters appear to have plenty of material resources missing their shaders when loaded in the PoEE. Unfortunately, I wouldn't know where to begin to assign them. Browsing through the PoEE provided shaders doesn't provide any intuitive answers.

 

This leads me to believe that the process, at least using the current tools, would be a bit more involved than simply editing a few numbers. Which would be fine with me if I knew what I was doing xD

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I'm investigating a couple of other options for making the changes.  

With what we are trying to do we don't need the level of functionality that the asset editor provides, it might be possible to just pry everything apart with disunity, make the changes and then inject the altered file into the .unity3d file.  

  

Failing that there are ways to get around the material problem, they just sound like a lot of trouble.

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I would change them using a rule of +2/-2 on attributes that need it, always keeping the same max. Makes the NPCs more balanced and it doesn't really changes their "personality".

 

These are the changes I'm thinking of using:

KERU2IR.png?1

 

Hardly what you would call min-maxing, and you still have useful talkative companions for hard and path of the damned.

 

Yea something simple like this would be ideal, those stats are much more workable without being min maxed. Add them joining at level 1 so Durance and Hiravias don't waste their talents and it's perfect. yes.gif

Edited by falchen
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If anyone is interested. With IE Mod you guys can respec your party members and change their attributes using the commands ChangeClass and AttributeScore

 

For instructions:

http://rien-ici.com/iemod/console

 

Yeah this has come up a few times in this thread.  It isn't really a good solution.  

It's buggy, it breaks things, it disables achievements, it is at best, a workaround.

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Cheatengine also works if you really have to do it. I personally don't find it necessary at all on hard mode and I haven't made a single custom party member. If you play your tactics right, the companions are very useful no matter their attribute allocation.

 

Eder and Palle make up my front line, Aloth and my pc unleash magical hell, and Durance and Kana keep everyone buffed up.

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How simple would of it had been to just let the player pick all the starting stats/abilities/traits for their Companions when they join the group? Just like you can do when creating adventurers. 

 

That way it's not prebuilt to dominate or prebuilt to be useless, but completely dependent on how the player wanted to build their companions while still being able to enjoy their personalities. Creating adventurers would still have value cause you can try out different party configurations.

There could even be a randomize or default option for crazy or lazy people.

When designing, giving the player more choices is usually the best option.

 

Can't wait for an well made mod to add this in.

Edited by Nokturnal Lex
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I've run the game on hard into Act III.  Basically, the premade characters are, for the most part, absolutely fine to use.  The fighter can tank well; the druid, wizard, cipher, priest are also very solid in their respective roles.  In my view, that's because some of the most important spells are crowd control (pin, prone, stun, confuse), and the stats don't matter much for those.  It is true that a true chanter / tank - which is my PC, and a ton of fun - requires a very different build from a dps chanter, and no pre-made one will do both well.  My chanter tank is 8/10/8/18/14/18 and never gets hit with a sword and board approach.  I find the paladin and ranger less effective, but that may simply be the way that I play - or it may reflect the need for a different stat build for them.

 

If there is a lack, it's that there is really only one NPC who does well in a front-line role; this is an argument either for the ability to change NPC stats or an argument for rebuilding the paladin and chanter to be more tank-like, and for tanks there really is an impact from proper stat allocation.  But for dps / crowd control, which is most of the NPCs, I think that this is frankly a non-issue; if complete control is what you really need, you  can always roll up the adventurers.

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I've started a number of playthroughs as a wood elf chanter. 

 

It's fairly remarkable what a difference having even one hireling in a party can make. I actually had to restart my first game on normal difficulty because I hired a 2H barbarian to go with my chanter. Both of these created characters each out-damaged the rest of the party combined (Aloth, Eder, Durance, Kana Rua). I restarted again, adding Pallegina to the team in place of the barbarian, and things felt balanced again.

 

In the new play-through, my chanter (pistol) once again does thrice the damage of the rest of the party, although I suspect Pallegina with her blunderbuss flames of devotion alpha strike followed 2H melee might start creeping up eventually. Without actually trying it, I think a better optimized all-hireling group would  absolutely steamroll the game on normal difficulty, and would probably have an easier time on hard than playing medium with your companions.

 

Of the provided companions, Eder seems to do his job fairly adequately, and Kana Rua (Hammer and Shield) is a nice compliment, despite his incantations being of little use in shorter fights. Durance is a solid contributor, but that may simply be my ignorance of how much better a hireling priest would do in his place. Pallegina isn't really fitting in well. She offtanks fine I suppose, but I'm sure she would be a lot better off with high might to go with her FoD and blunderbuss. Aloth sucks all around. I don't need a control mage in the party with a PC chanter, what I'd really like from a wizard is occasional burst DPS on tougher encounters. Sadly, Sagani seems even worse, and Hiravias doesn't seem to contribute as much banter. 

 

Pretty underwhelming. Every BG2 character had a stat line that was somewhat workable... save perhaps Cernd and Aerie. There's certianly no Minsc, Edwin, Ajantis, or Kivan here. Pretty disappointing that they chose to balance normal around trash-tier companions.

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How simple would of it had been to just let the player pick all the starting stats/abilities/traits for their Companions when they join the group? Just like you can do when creating adventurers. 

 

That way it's not prebuilt to dominate or prebuilt to be useless, but completely dependent on how the player wanted to build their companions while still being able to enjoy their personalities. Creating adventurers would still have value cause you can try out different party configurations.

 

There could even be a randomize or default option for crazy or lazy people.

 

When designing, giving the player more choices is usually the best option.

 

Can't wait for an well made mod to add this in.

Adding in a respec is beyond the scope of whats needed, and I feel like the character's race,sub-race, and background choices should be left untouched.  

There's really only one thing I think NEEDS to be addressed: The trash-tier attribute distributions.  

And two things that would be nice to change: The Talent Choices, and the skill choices as they level.  

A respec from level 1 would be nice, but that's not fixing a problem, that's adding a whole new feature... Lets try to walk before we run.

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If anyone is interested. With IE Mod you guys can respec your party members and change their attributes using the commands ChangeClass and AttributeScore

 

For instructions:

http://rien-ici.com/iemod/console

 

Yeah this has come up a few times in this thread.  It isn't really a good solution.  

It's buggy, it breaks things, it disables achievements, it is at best, a workaround.

 

 

It's worked fine for me as a substitute for a mod; also, I'm pretty sure IEMod specifically will not disable achievements.

 

 

How simple would of it had been to just let the player pick all the starting stats/abilities/traits for their Companions when they join the group? Just like you can do when creating adventurers. 

 

That way it's not prebuilt to dominate or prebuilt to be useless, but completely dependent on how the player wanted to build their companions while still being able to enjoy their personalities. Creating adventurers would still have value cause you can try out different party configurations.

 

There could even be a randomize or default option for crazy or lazy people.

 

When designing, giving the player more choices is usually the best option.

 

Can't wait for an well made mod to add this in.

Adding in a respec is beyond the scope of whats needed, and I feel like the character's race,sub-race, and background choices should be left untouched.  

There's really only one thing I think NEEDS to be addressed: The trash-tier attribute distributions.  

And two things that would be nice to change: The Talent Choices, and the skill choices as they level.  

A respec from level 1 would be nice, but that's not fixing a problem, that's adding a whole new feature... Lets try to walk before we run.

 

 

This is exactly what I was aiming for when poking around in there. Generally with the idea not to 'cheat' (distribute more than they should have), for the distribution to not break their character (Aloth doesn't end up with 22 con, for example), for them to be on-par with storyless hireling's of their type. With some testing, possibly see if setting their level to 0 will allow you to level them up when you pick them up, otherwise a script would have to be created (huge bag of worms) to manually reset it to zero when they enter the party, or another option would be to change their ability progression charts to make more sense.

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A couple people have said that Eder makes a decent tank.  Can somebody explain how, exactly?  Dude has a combined 21 in the core tank skills of Perceptions and Resolve.  As far as I can tell *none* of the companions make a decent tank and only Pellegrino (yeah I know, but its all I can see when I read her name) makes even a mediocre tank.  I'm doing Hard/Expert for my playthrough and right now I feel like I have to make my PC the tank if I don't want a major struggle.  Am I incorrect?

 

Wow, Grieving Mother's stats are... I don't even know the word.  It's like darts were thrown at a random list of numbers!  What exactly is she good at?

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Oh yeah, I think it is pretty obvious from the stat distributions that Perception was originally supposed to affect accuracy rather than deflection.  In which case a lot of things make more sense.  Obsidian should change their stats to go along with the change in what stats do.

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